Thank you to all of those who gave their lives for our country and the unparalleled contributions you made for all of our freedoms. Your bravery and the sacrifice you made is incomparable. Two of my postage stamp flags (and details) to honor the day.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on an ongoing series of geometric abstractions using thousands of used postage stamps and resin as my medium. I have been working on this series for over ten years now. I have several related series going on concurrently. One group titled, the “Vortex” series, is loosely based on Frank Stella’s “Black Series” from the 60s and range in size from 8” x 8” to 60” x 60.” The other major series of mine is based on Josef Albers “Homage to the Square” pieces from the 50s and 60s. I have also been working on several commissions based on my older quilt-like patchwork series -one for a home and one for a corporate setting. The studio shot I attached is me in front of one of them entitled, “Reflections.” Blue Gallery has several more from that series! My most exciting new pieces are actually digital art “Mandala” prints that I have created from photographs of my original postage stamp pieces. I use a total of three different graphics programs and a custom plug-in to create these stunning and beautiful images. I am looking forward to printing and offering them as large scale prints.
Q: What inspired that particular direction?
I am influenced by Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious and the interconnectedness of the universe and its correspondence to several schools of eastern thought and mysticism. All of the postage stamp pattern fields are my interpretation and reinvention of mandalas, or meditative microcosms. I am also drawn to simple, but powerful geometric relationships and repeating patterns.
Q: What are the positive things that are happening for you during the pandemic?
The most positive thing is the amount of creative time I am allowing myself to explore, learn and try new things. For example, my new “Mandala” prints may have not been created had I not been concentrating on the graphics side of things outside of my mixed-media studio work. Also, I have been taking several online courses that I am very interested in. One course is on drone photography that I am really excited about and incorporating somehow into my artwork and/or the process.
Q: Why did you start creating art in the first place?
My father was my first inspiration. He was a sculptor and a painter. From the age of four or five, I remember working on sketches with him, particularly of faces and my own left hand, and spending lots of time in his studio, which was in our home. My interest grew from there.
Q: What are you reading, what are you watching? Favorites please!
I have always read a great deal (hours daily), but during this pandemic my reading has increased x10! My Kindle is easily my favorite pieces of technology other than my DSLR. My favorite recent book is John Keel’s “The Mothman Prophecies” (love the movie as well!). It is wildly interesting book about the many paranormal and unexplainable happenings in Point Pleasant, WV, in 1966-67. My favorite current TV show is re-watching all of the old original episodes of Dr. Who on Britbox. I grew up watching that show and I am really enjoying seeing some of the earlier seasons (from the 60s) that I have never seen before, and have not been available until recently.
Q: Do you listen to music while you create? If so, who are you listening to?
Oh, yes! Beethoven’s nine symphonies are my all-time favorite. I have four different versions of all nine symphonies, each a different conductor and orchestra. It’s so interesting when you start to notice the subtle differences in interpretation and emphasis that each has. I feel very fortunate to have realized a life’s goal/dream just recently before the lock-down started. I saw all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies live in concert in Chicago. Sir John Elliot Gardiner (a true pioneer in classical music) conducted his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. They performed all nine symphonies over the course of just five days (and unheard of cycle/schedule) at the beautiful Harris Theater in Chicago! I was there for every one of them and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire adult life! The lock-down/pandemic followed shortly after this historic performance.
Q: Do you have a studio buddy (cat or dog or ?) if so, can we see a photo?
My studio doggies are both in doggy heaven. But fortunately, my studio is in an artist building and several of the other residents have dogs. Theirs dogs all run to my studio door first when they arrive for treats! So I get my fill with them.
Q: What is your favorite painting you just completed? (with photo) (if you plan to or would like to send it to the gallery, we’d love to promote in this post)
My favorite paintings are four 16” x 16” pieces completed recently from my “Vortex” series using postage stamps commemorating the various American arts (including one of George Gershwin), and my new “Mandala” digital art prints, based on these 16” x 16” pieces and others of my postage stamp collages.
I had fun filming some studio clips for Simon Breitbard Fine Arts, San Fransisco, CA.
This finished video is courtesy of SBFA and their amazing staff!
© Simon Breitbard Fine Arts, 2020
"Eternal Silence" by Lorado Taft
Please join me for the Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios on Friday, March 6, from 6:00-10:00PM. Studios and artwork from over 30 artists will be open to the public. Visit me in studio #102 and take home a free limited edition 2020 poster calendar, featuring "Home of the Brave."
Cornelia Arts Building: Open Studios
Friday, March 6, 6:00-10:00PM
Cornelia Arts Building
1800 W. Cornelia Studio #102
Chicago, IL 60657
My recent solo exhibition "Vortex" at the Evanston Art Center was a great success. The exhibition ran from September 28 to November 3, 2019. As well as several significant sales, I have also been commissioned for custom artwork. The opening reception was lively and nicely attended and led to several other great contacts and an idea for a new line of beautiful clothing based on my stamp designs. More to come on that project in early 2020!
I am pleased to be the new Adjunct Instructor for Robert Morris University's photography program. I am currently teaching the Advanced 300 Level Digital photography Class and will also be teaching the Fundamentals 100 Level in the Spring of 2020. All of my students are juniors and seniors working on their Design Degrees and it is a real pleasure to help add this important and creative skill set to their tool kits and experience base. Along with my mixed media art, the serious study and practice of Photography continues to be my life's passion. It is a true honor to be in a teaching position like this to pass on my knowledge and enthusiasm to such a wonderful group of students.
A beautiful view of the Chicago "L" and surroundings from my new classroom
at Robert Morris University.
I simply love this comic strip by Stephan Pastis. It says it all!
Oblique – Streetscapes of Chicago
Photographs by Jordan Scott and Nelson W Armour
Photographers Jordan Scott and Nelson W Armour explore the urban landscape, searching out lesser-recognized streets, structures, and views. Chicago’s flat urban topography yields different perspectives, both close and far, both recognizable and unknown.
Scott’s black and white work emphasizes the history of specific Chicago streets with penetrating focus on unique structures and buildings. He captures transportation structures, cultural oddities, the vintage, the unusual, the seedy and the offbeat. Unfashionable motels with postmodern exterior facades and privacy barriers transport one from present-day to earlier styles and geographies. Now squalid and crime ridden rest stops, it’s just a matter of time before demolition occurs. Is Scott documenting these idiosyncratic and iconic structures? Is he capturing their melancholy, hinting at the unknown worlds living within?
Armour’s color work also searches for offbeat locations and idiosyncratic corners. Iconic structures are ever present within the frame. Normally, these familiar and famous buildings are viewed from beautiful angles and with a majestic sweep. Yet, Armour’s oblique take reveals less traveled neighborhoods, grittier blocks, and industrial settings. The famous skyline recedes in importance and the quirkier settings promote what is near; the iconic fades into the distance. What’s close conflicts with what’s distant. Most of these local settings have now succumbed to demolition and development. Will the distant continue to swallow up the close?
Scott and Armour’s work examine Chicago streetscapes at once recognizable and familiar but with unusual perspectives, tones, and feelings.
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 3, 6-8 pm
Artist’s Talk: Sunday, August 11th, 3-4 pm.
I had a very nice visit to Artspace 8 Gallery in Chicago this week and spending time with the amazing staff, including owner/director Fidel Rodriguez. Here are some images of current gallery installs of my work. I am looking forward to my one-person exhibition there in September, 2019.
All artworks: used U.S. postage stamps and resin on canvas
1) "Until the moment Comes 1 & 2" 48" x 24" each
2) "Home of the Brave" 36" x 60"
3) "Amethyst" 30" x 30"
4) "Passages" 60" x 60"
A shot from the Brown Line "L" on the way down to the gallery.